Overnight, the app with 200 million users, the highest in the world, was not available in India. Indian alternatives for TikTok like Mitron, Roposo, and Chingari made a big spalsh in app stores in no time. TikTok’s USP was that it allowed users to create content, as it was packed with editing tools, which Indian apps lack. Unless they allow original content to be made, these apps will be nothing more than video-hosting platforms.
Mitron, Chingari and Roposo don’t even come close to TikTok.
Every social network or platform prioritises the content that a user sees frequently. The task of sifting these posts by user behaviour is done by an algorithm. The number of likes, comments, viewing time, repetitions, and followers are just some of the metrics used to gauge a video. The algorithm recognises a viewer’s interest and suggests new videos based on it.
The feed is customised based on a user’s interaction with the app. For a first-time user, TikTok videos may seem random. But there is a method to this madness–the algorithm purposely pushes a variety of content to understand a user’s likes, dislikes and interests
Indian alternatives have a mountain to climb. They need a finely tuned algorithm to ensure high engagement on the platform.
An algorithm like that of TikTok can’t be built in a few days, weeks or months. It takes a huge amount of data from millions of users to understand the functioning of the algorithm. Fine-tuning it takes even longer.
TikTok gained traction because it came packed with editing tools, unlike any other app. It offered background music and sounds, filters, stickers, presets, and visual effects. These editing tools are missing from Indian apps like Mitron, Chingari, and Roposo. To be the next TikTok, Indian startups will truly have to “Atmanirbhar (self-reliant)”, both in thinking and tech.